Posted: 22nd May 2017
Megan Allen Rural Roots PR
I recently read a blog by someone who said that outsourcing PR can harm your small business. Sadly, on looking into it, it seems the reason for their post is because they are trying to upsell their online course teaching small business owners how to do their own PR.
While upskilling is important and as my clients will attest to, I’m a huge advocator that your story should come from you (hence the headline), the fact of the matter is I work as a freelance PR because it’s what I’m trained to do. I work closely with journalists to ensure your story is told and I work out the best strategy to do so.
Not only that, PR is time-consuming, so I take it off your hands while keeping you informed every step of the way.
So, here’s my reasons why you should outsource, or at least work closely with a freelance PR while you learn the ropes.
1) They know what they’re doing…
Ask yourself why it is you do what you do. I’m going to take a stab and guess it’s because you love it, you’re passionate about it and you do it well. PRs are the same. Whether they’ve got a marketing degree, worked in the industry, trained as a journalist first or come from a corporate background, they know what they’re doing. They’ve lived it, breated it and made the mistakes so you don’t have to.
2) They have the contacts…
In PR it’s very much about that old saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. As PRs, we work hard to ensure we’re constantly building our contacts, travelling miles to meet with journalists and producers in our field, following news stories, reading, reading and more reading. It’s very time-consuming, but if you work with us, you’ll have a direct line to the right publications and the right people.
3) They know how to pitch…
The rumours are true, journalists do receive a lot of pitches a day. But, if you work with a PR, they’ll know how to pitch and even how to adapt your pitch for different publications. One thing we always ask journalists or producers when we meet them is “How do you want us to pitch to you”. Every journalist is different, so it’s not just about having a catchy headline or the perfect image, it’s about them. They’re people too.
4) It’s their business to tell your story…
PRs won’t give up on you after the first attempt. If you’re trying to run a business and do your own marketing, PR, social, etc, then inevitably your business will win if it comes down to choosing between the two. I know that from my own experience. I’m so busy working for my clients that I forget to promote myself a lot of the time. If you’re working with a PR, it’s their business to ensure your story is published, so they won’t give up. If they fail the first time, they’ll reset, rewrite and try again.
5) They’re blue-sky thinkers
I work really closely with my clients and often find myself counselling them. As a small business owner myself, I know how much it helps to chat ideas through and they appreciate it because I think big. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day, so I often leave my clients with a seed planted to help them to grow their business. From my point of view, if they’re growing and starting new things, then it’s a great PR opportunity. I love hearing fro them afterwards that they’re inspired by my ideas and are moving forward.
At the end of the day, my clients are friends and I help them as best I can. It’s good to work with someone outside your business as they’ll often have a different perspective.
With that being said, all PRs will work with you to ensure you’re working on a strategy you’re happy with. If you’d rather work with them as a back-up to steer you in the right direction, they will. If you want them to do the work for you, they will. I work with my clients to ensure they’re in control of their PR at all times. And sometimes they get so good at it, I set them f